Join the Fight Against Holocaust Denial & Revisionism this Holocaust Remembrance Day

“There is no government that is doing more to systematically promote Holocaust distortion and the canard of equivalency between Communist and Nazi crimes than Lithuania. The problem also exists today in the other Baltic countries and is endemic in post-Communist Europe.” 
                         – Dr. Efraim Zuroff, Simon Wiesenthal Center Chief Nazi Hunter

April 19, 2012 - Holocaust Memorial Day

This Yom Hashoah your support will:

• Fight against Holocaust denial 
• Support Holocaust education  
• Preserve the memory of the Shoah
• Combat Holocaust revisionism 

During the Nazi Holocaust, 96.4% of Lithuania’s Jewish population were murdered by local collaboration. As a historian once said, “It was safer to be a Jew in Berlin than in Lithuania.”

In recent years, in the wake of the transition from Communism to Democracy, many Eastern European countries, including Lithuania, were forced to confront Holocaust-related issues which significantly influenced their foreign policy as well as relations with Israel and world Jewry.

However, in Lithuania, the government began supporting a series of steps to de-emphasize the history of local participation in Holocaust crimes and focus attention on the suffering of the victims of Communism in Eastern Europe.

In wake of these steps taken by the Lithuanian government, there has been a dangerous increase in the number of anti-Semitic incidents, vandalization of Jewish institutions and sites of Holocaust mass murders, attacks on Jewish public figures in the local mass media, and neo-Nazi marches in Lithuania (pictured).

No Jewish organization has done more to expose and combat these dangerous developments than the Simon Wiesenthal Center. I have personally met with government officials, lobbied for the rights of Holocaust survivors, and walked in solidarity with marchers protesting against neo-Nazi marches.

It is therefore especially appropriate, on Holocaust Remembrance Day, that the Simon Wiesenthal Center is releasing the latest report: Lithuania 2012: Holocaust Distortion as Background for Increased for Anti-Semitism where you will learn about:

• The Lithuanian government’s support of a series of steps to de-emphasize the history of local participation in Holocaust crimes and focus attention on the suffering under Communism

• The government’s campaign to prosecute Jewish anti-Nazi Soviet partisans for ostensible "war crimes" against "civilian" Lithuanians who were, in fact Nazi collaborators

• The increase of vicious anti-Semitic articles in the local media directed at these individuals who were accused of heinous crimes. Among those targeted include renowned Israeli Holocaust scholar and former Yad Vashem Chairman, Dr. Yitzchak Arad

• The debate regarding the restitution of public Jewish property and the passage by the Lithuanian Parliament (Seimas) of a bill calling for the payment of 128 million litas to the Jewish community over the next ten years (a figure representing only a small fraction of the current value of the property confiscated or stolen)

Photo: March 2012 - Dr. Zuroff and Holocaust survivors rally against Lithuanian FM Audronius Azubalis’ visit to Israel, claiming he had made anti-Semitic comments in the past, and that the Lithuanian government has made attempts to "belittle the memory of the Holocaust.”
L-R: David Schonberg, Jerusalem attorney; Yosef Melamed, Chairman of the Israeli Association of Lithuanian Jews; Dr. Zuroff and Yiddish educator Bella Bryks-Klein

Thank you,
Dr. Efraim Zuroff

As the leading Jewish organization fighting against Holocaust denial— which every day educates and preserves the memory of the Shoah, we ask you to support us during this week of Yom Hashoah so that we can continue to combat the denial of the martyrdom and suffering of our people during the Shoah, continue to educate millions around the world, and continue to sound the alarm when there are attempts to rewrite history and denegrate and threaten our people.